Why showers?

American hotels are replacing baths with shower cabins

A large number of hotels in the USA over the past few years have dramatically reduced the number of baths that they have fitted in their bathrooms. Meanwhile, the number of shower cabins installed has increased markedly. An interesting trend: the more up-market the hotel, the more likely it is that instead of a bath a comfortable and multifunctional shower cabin is in the en-suite. The reason for this situation is generally given as the concept of “green” refurbishment; design from the ecological point of view.11

Not so long ago, a large-scale competition for the title of “green” hotel took place across the United States. Naturally, the focus was by no means on interior colour schemes, but on the hotel’s actual energy efficiency and resource conservation standards.

The winner was announced as one of the most prestigious hotels in Los Angeles. Over the past couple of years, the hotel building was subject to refurbishment and significant modifications, resulting in the amount of water used and energy consumption being decreased by orders of magnitude.

One of the main policy decisions taken by the hotel management was a complete removal of baths and their replacement by shower cabins in all the rooms. It was reported that guests were very satisfied with this approach, because a daily bathing experience was very much felt to be no less pleasant in a shower than taking a bath. In addition, many people felt that such procedures should be recommended for health reasons. Consequently, the problem of overspending on water was solved by installing new plumbing. With regard to energy savings, experts turned to the concept of indirect heating of buildings through the walls by the Trombe method.

Trombe Walls are named after their creator – French inventor Felix Trombe. He first designed walls to accumulate heat. The idea is as follows: material with a high density, for example, brick, is constructed in such a way that the distance from it to a glass wall is some 10 cm. The space between the brick and glass walls is then filled with water, subsequently heated by the sun. For better absorption of solar radiation, Trombe Walls are, as a rule, made in dark colours.

Work on the reconstruction of the hotel was completed with  the installation of large floor-to-ceiling windows. Through these windows there is then plenty of natural light inside the hotel, which allows the use of artificial lighting to be minimised.

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How exactly using the shower can save water

Three facts about economising on shower cabinets

Modern shower cabinets have a deserved reputation as the most economical item of sanitary ware, which help to moderate spending in almost every aspect: energy, expenses, water and your finances. However, if we draw up a relevant analysis, it turns out that the renowned thrift gained from a hydromassage cabin depends to a large extent on the consumer. Therefore, the question arises: is it really worth saving on the pleasure and comfort of the shower experience?

Space

It is believed that a shower cabin is the most suitable option for arranging space in tight bathrooms, where every centimetre of space counts. Of course, when comparing with what’s available in a spacious bathroom, a small shower cabin really is an attractive option in terms of saving space. But do not forget that an assembled unit comprising a shower cabin with a shower tray, glass doors, cover, shower control panel and additional items, ensuring the normal functioning of the whole system, also takes up a fair amount of space, so not every model is appropriate for a tiny, tight bathroom. In the case of small-sized bathrooms householders should be encouraged to restrict their choice to:

  • corner shower cabins;
  • compact dimensions of the unit;
  • shower cabins without a shower tray but drainage built into the floor.

Water

There is a belief that showers minimise total water consumption, compared with immersion in a bath full of hot water. This is true only if the bather is not a special lover of glorying in warm jets of water. In addition, the use of some special massage modes available for showers, on the contrary, increase these costs. However, washing in a shower, is without doubt more efficient and more hygienic than taking a traditional bath.

Money

Most people know the old saying that a penny saved is a penny earned, so it is not surprising that the financial cost of purchasing and installing a shower cabin can occupy an important place in the agenda of each householder. They should not be too zealous in saving each penny, because how well the plumbing and installation is carried out determines the life of faithful service you can expect. Of course, the replacement of a standard bath with a modern hydromassage or steam shower will cost a pretty penny, besides needing various refurbishment and refitting work.

For example, successful installation and proper functioning of a corner shower requires aligning two walls, as well as a thorough waterproofing for the shower tray with the floor of the bathroom. Sometimes the typical arrangement of plumbing that allows you to install one general mixer tap for both the bath and the washbasin, for obvious reasons is not possible as an economical solution for a  shower cabin, and you will need to install a separate mixer tap.

Of course, shower cabins can be self-assembled, when you can save a fair amount of money, but this option is not always the most simple and convenient. Most likely, an attempt to combine your own shower cabin with the equipment for a steam shower may not even be worth the effort and time involved. However, never mind any savings, showering in a fully equipped unit is often much more pleasant than in a homemade compilation, in which, for the sake of economy and your budget, the shower tray is missing, and the nozzles are built right into the wall.

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Choose a headset for the shower right

How important are accessories in a shower cabin?

Lymphatic drainage, aromatherapy, air massage and many other exotic features offered by manufacturers of shower cabins may generally be pleasant and even helpful to your lifestyle, but do not succumb to undue temptation and forget the basic parts of showers. Even the most ordinary handheld showerheads are used perpetually in your daily bathing experience, and their quality is not a short-term pleasure or fad.

The ideal showerhead

Contemporary shower fittings are comprised of often complex mechanical equipment, usually accompanied by all kinds of electronics, which allows you to create bathing procedures and water treatment for a range of lifestyle options. However, this by no means takes away the need to use a conventional showerhead on a hose, but on the contrary, should make us look even harder at these items, because if it doesn’t deliver, there’s not going to be any happy, relaxing water treatment.

Most often shower heads are made of metal or plastic, and because of chrome coating, it can at times be difficult to distinguish between the materials that actually make it up. The advantages of plastic shower heads are undoubtedly their light weight and variety of shapes, but more durable metal models and their surface coatings do not deteriorate as much over time.

Multi-function nozzles with special switches allow the user to arbitrarily select different types of jets for bathing. Such regimes can be multitudinous, but do not go for quantity but for quality as here we can apply the rule “less is more” and choose a model with a set of 3-4 jets as standard options. In addition, you should pay attention to how you would not only most frequently bathe but also when you could use an economy mode, useful to those who have a water meter, and in general, all those who prefer to use water sparingly during washing.

Clean showerheads

Shower cabins stand guard over cleanliness and health, but also they need careful maintenance. The main enemy of showerheads is limescale, to combat which some models have built-in self-cleaning. Some designs to eliminate dirt use retractable pins that adjust when turning a special knob. In other showerheads you may be able to find silicone gaskets on which limescale just does not form. Both of these solutions are very effective, but before you buy the showerhead you most like, you need to ask a consultant what cleaning method is used in the model.

Bent hoses

Shower hoses, as well as showerheads, are made of plastic or metal, although the outer surface of the material can mislead buyers. In fact, such tubes are usually internally rubber, onto which is wound a metal or plastic cover. Which of these coatings is more durable, it is really hard to say, because it very much depends on the manufacturer.

In order to reassure yourself as to the quality of a shower hose, take it in your hand and try to bend it. If this is easy, then it is likely that it will soon become worthless. It is best to choose a rigid structure that will not bulge at the seams at the slightest bending. Furthermore, you should focus your attention on the length of the hose, because the longer it is, the less sharp bending will occur during bathing in the shower.

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Learn how to effectively use all the functions of the shower

What controls you can have in your shower cabin

Currently,virtually all the controls for a bathing experience in a multi-function shower cabin are exclusively supported by electronic control systems. In comparison with manual control of desired pressure and temperature which is still used in budget shower cabins, management of the bathing experience by pressing relevant buttons and switches, of course, opens up more opportunities and helps to build programmes for your health and comfort.

Electronic control panels

Electronic control systems can easily manage all the functional features of a shower cabin:

  • maintaining optimum water temperature;
  • choosing the type of therapeutic hydro-massage;
  • regulate the operation of a steam generator;
  • adjusting decorative lighting;
  • providing reception for telephone calls;
  • providing a radio, ventilation and activating ionization features;
  • changing at will the mode of operation of the shower as a whole.

All information for your bathing session is displayed on a special display panel that allows you to modify the regime as desired. Of course, for such comfortable capabilities you will have to pay substantially more, but these advanced models of showers are definitely worth it, because they take away the dubious pleasure of feverishly twisting taps and in the heart-felt cursing at mixer taps during the search for the perfect combination of hot and cold water for a relaxing shower.

Pointing a remote control

In addition, the work of multi-function shower cabins can also be adjusted using special remote controls, performing exactly the same functions as the main control panel. Depending on the type of designe, they are:

  • Keypads with a display;
  • units without a display, but with buttons and LEDs;
  • controls with touch screens.

Of course, conventional hydromassage and steam shower cabins may not need a special remote control, because to ask all the necessary functions for bathing  can be located alongside on the electronic panel. However, if you have a combined shower cabin and bath, the beauty of this method of control is evident, since to change modes and incorporate the options you want, you can, for example, not even get out of a filled bath.

Voice-activated shower cabin control

The most expensive and luxurious shower cabins feature voice-activated support and control, which allow you to change the parameters of bathing with just one word. Of course, many may feel that such functions may seem superfluous, only created to meet the whims of wealthy clients.However, in some cases, these functions are very convenient. For example, if a problem occurs with the electronics, a human voice can explain the problem, and in addition, can give sensible recommendations for shower maintenance. In general, such a futuristic way to command your hi-tech shower cabin has its place, even though verbal communication with an inanimate object can still seem somewhat strange.

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As thermostatic faucets save water

Shower cabins: the water-saving consumer – thermostatic mixer showers

When choosing bathroom items for your home, each consumer is of course concerned about the problems of energy saving and economical water consumption, but the act of purchase itself draws more on the aesthetic quality of the product and its price. Meanwhile, purchasing a shower cabin with a thermostatic mixer tap would help not only in the shortest possible time to realise  the financial benefits of your investment, but also to fully enjoy all the additional comfort.

Economy with comfort

It’s no secret that some of the water during manual setting for optimum temperature for bathing is wasted. Uses for washing it does not work, but it appears to account for the consumption of water and energy. At the same time until the user turned the valves or mixer arm, there was a jump in the water system, in which bathing scalded with boiling water, or breathed in the cold stream.

All these troubles do not happen if shower was originally equipped with a thermostatic mixer that saves hot water and maintain a stable temperature of the water and, consequently, helps to save money and health. The convenience is obvious – to establish a constant temperature and makes water treatment, changing the water pressure at its discretion. Moreover, if a family has children, then bring down the settings on the Thermomixer not allow special delimiters between the random rotation of conventional lever mixer during exciting game can turn into painful burns.

Of course, the thermostatic mixer is not a penny, and requires for its creation of long-term usage of certain conditions, however, such a mixer literally pays off for a year, and water treatment, if any are transformed into fabulous fun.

Correct use

The use of thermostatic mixer taps can make life wonderful, to make sure they work correctly, the following steps should be taken:

  • purchase and install fine water filters;
  • synchronise the action of the water heater and thermostatic mixer.

The Achilles Five thermostatic mixer tap is especially sensitive to the effects of physical impurities in the water. Of course, some models have a special membrane technology that reduces the risk of limescale deposits on the key elements of the device responsible for its functional accuracy. Installing an effective filter system has a positive impact not only on the reliability of the mixer tap, but also on the overall protection for the shower. If we ignore this point, the thermostat can fail after about a year or two.

If you have a thermostatic mixer tap, it is important that the hot water supply to the shower, if you use a gas water heater, is stable, or else in the process of exploitation there will be problems. The fact is that when the pressure of this type of gas heating system automatically changes the height of the flames it may even disable it completely, although the thermostat operating principle lies in the fact that it mixes the water to a given environment. In general, these devices can find it difficult to get along with each other, so if the householder decides to purchase a shower cabin with a thermostatic mixer tap, the water heater should either be electric or have a reservoir tank.

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Advantages of long bars for showers

Riser bars for shower cabins

Towel rails, seals, and door handles for a steam shower and many other accessories, despite their low profile, play an important role in the comfort performance of a bathing experience. A riser bar for a shower is also included in the number of such inconspicuous items, but a very important functional detail in relation to other items, so a little attention from the consumer to this oddly important accessory at the time of selecting a suitable shower will not be amiss.

An important detail for your comfort

The components installed in a shower are:1

  • shower head;
  • riser bar;
  • shower hose;
  • lock;
  • mixer tap.

The riser bar, which is a metal or plastic pipe, is designed for easy movement of the holder for the fixed shower head in order to adjust it to different heights for convenient use of shower while bathing. It is attached vertically to one of the walls of the shower cabin, and in such cases can often be up to a metre in length, because this size allows you to even take a shower in a sitting position.

Directly affected by the height of the riser bar is the length of the shower hose, so if choosing the longest riser bar, be sure to take care that you pick the appropriate length hose. Some riser bars have attached shelves for storing shampoo and shower gel, soap dishes and other pleasant trivia.

Shower from a height

Adjusting the height of the shower head on the riser bar can occur in various ways:

  • individually, when the shower head is fixed at an optimum level with the help of a screw;
  • In an automatic mode, when the shower head, gripped by the holder, moves to the right place by pulling on the hose;
  • semi-automatically, as the shower head is moved down the bar by a special cord, and rises up to the desired height by manual adjustment.

The holder allows the shower head to be moved conveniently along the wall to its desired height, and depending on the model of the steam shower, can rotate and lock in position the shower head. For example, individual showers  cabins of luxury levels allow you to position the shower head not only from a certain angle, but upside down, allowing the water to strike you in an extravagant manner.

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Beautiful waterfall shower in your bathroom

Waterfalls and streams in your shower cabin and bathroom

Cascade Mixer Taps can justly be called one of the most striking miracles of modern plumbing, providing vivid and unforgettable sensations while undergoing your bathing experience right in a man-made waterfall in your own bathroom.

Cascading water

Naturally, cascade mixer taps are considered quite expensive and exclusive devices, so in general, they are used to equip showers in what may be called luxury class. They differ from conventional mixer taps in that they not only have a prestigious designer form with a beautiful shape and brilliant finish, but also an increased flow of water, which significantly adds diversity to the bathing and showering experience, by providing more fun while bathing. As a result, cascade mixer tap are many times larger than their cousins, because in order to let through 30 to 50 litres of water per minute, they need to have extraordinary size and strength. In terms of other aspects, mixer design is no different, having plumbing for hot and cold water, only with a larger cross-section.

Under a waterfall

Waterfall functions in luxury showers are provided by a closed cycle which is made up of this: water needed for such an unusual procedure is collected in a deep reservoir, then a special pump sends it upwards, to then rapidly descend to the bather standing under the shower. This water circulating in this cycle will remain hot since its temperature is set by a thermostat. Definitely, bathing under a warm broad stream of water, even if it’s an artificial waterfall, feels amazingly pleasant compared to even a standard shower with tropical rain effect.

Travelling down a stream

Cascade mixer taps are not only fitted to shower cabins but also to baths, the latter being installed more often than to steam showers. This is largely due to the fact that with an increase in the volume of hydromassage bathtubs, filling ideally requires accelerated input, so such a device is the optimal solution. Usually it is installed on the rim of the bath, and to heighten the effect, you can even install a  special spotlight. Flexible connections allow you to choose your installation option, so a cascade mixer tap may be located:

  • on a ledge next to the spout or in the opposite direction;
  • on the podium;
  • on a special shelf.

If a cascade mixer tap in a shower cabin creates the cascading effect of a falling waterfall, a hydromassage bath can be set up to imitate river rapids.

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